Atraumatic restorative treatments improve child oral health-related quality of life: A noninferiority randomized controlled trial

Peter Arrow, Helen Forrest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Management of dental caries under dental general anaesthesia (DGA) in young children improves their quality of life. A randomized controlled trial was undertaken to test the changes in oral health-related quality of life among children treated under a DGA or managed using the Atraumatic Restorative Treatment and Hall crown approaches (ARTs). Methods: Children scheduled for a DGA for the management of dental caries after assessment at the Oral Health Centre of Western Australia were invited to participate. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. Child oral health-related quality of life (COHRQoL) was evaluated through the Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (ECOHIS) and the child-specific Caries Impacts and Experiences Questionnaire for Children (CARIES-QC) at baseline and 12 months after consent. The changes in child oral health-related quality of life were analysed on an intention-to-treat basis. Paired t-test and Wilcoxon's matched-pairs rank test were used for within-group comparison and t-test, Mann-Whitney test, and test of proportions for between-group comparisons. Linear regression was used for multivariable analyses of the follow-up scores. Results: Sixty-five parents/carers agreed to participate and were randomized (Test = 32; Control = 33). Mean age = 4.7 years, SD 1.1; 51% male. At baseline, there were no statistically significant differences in age and sex between the groups; however, the ARTs group reported higher ECOHIS scores. At follow-up, both the ARTs and DGA groups had lower ECOHIS scores (20.7 vs 12.9 and 14.4 vs 13.3, respectively) and CARIES-QC scores (12.6 vs 7.1 and 9.9 vs 8.4, respectively). The within-group differences in the ARTs group were statistically significant while the differences in the DGA group were not, P <.01 and P >.05, respectively. In a linear regression of the follow-up scores, being in the DGA group increased the follow-up scores, but it was no longer statistically significant while baseline impact scores were significantly associated with greater follow-up scores for both the ECOHIS and the CARIES-QC, P <.01. Conclusion: The child oral health-related quality life among children scheduled for dental general anaesthesia improved after receiving minimally invasive, atraumatic restorative treatments of dental caries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-356
Number of pages8
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


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